Karina Vetrano murder suspect admits to choking, dragging her in video confession — as legal aid says ‘don’t rush to judgment’

Despite a confession and DNA evidence, some are questioning the case against Chanel Lewis

The man arrested for the brutal murder of a New York City jogger this summer reportedly admitted to the crime in multiple video confessions. Still, Chanel Lewis’s family and his legal representation are continuing to question to the strength of the police’s case against the 20-year-old man.

It would seem open-and-shut, especially in light of the latest reports from inside the New York Police Department that Lewis gave a detailed confession to both police and the District Attorney.

A law enforcement official told ABC News that Lewis told investigators in a videotaped confession that he was angry about something that happened at home when he walked to the Spring Creek park in Howard Beach, Queens, on August 2, the evening of Vetrano’s murder. He told detectives that he saw Katrina and just “lost it.” The official told ABC News that Lewis gave a detailed account of the alleged murder, admitting to hitting and choking her. But he reportedly denied sexually assaulting her.

Police had earlier obtained a DNA sample from Lewis, which he submitted voluntarily. His DNA reportedly “matched some of the samples taken from various investigative points on Vetrano’s body,” says an NBC News report.

READ also: ‘They set him up,’ says sister of jogger murder suspect

The Legal Aid Society is representing Lewis. In a statement on Tuesday, Legal Aid cautioned the public not to “rush to judgment” based on the reported evidence against Lewis.

“We have a full defense team working on this case, including our DNA unit dedicated to scrutinizing the evidence collected by local authorities. We are spending this critical time getting to know our client and his family and reviewing all the facts associated with this case. We caution everyone — including the media — not to rush to immediate judgment. As our judicial system affords, Mr. Lewis is entitled to fairness and due process.”

Lewis’s family has been critical of the investigation. On Monday, his sister told The Daily News that she believes her brother was framed because of his race. Lewis’s father has also said that he cannot believe his son could be capable of such a crime.

Lewis does not have any prior arrests or convictions, but while in high school he reportedly said he hated women and wanted to hurt them with a knife.


Photo: Handout